The sudden demise of a five-year-old girl where she drowned after she was left alone in a public swimming pool was ruled out as a tragic accident.
In this latest Singapore news, we are detailing the incident and what went wrong.
According to the official report of the coroner who examined the death of the girl named Aurelia Liu Jiabao, Coroner Kamala Ponnampalam stated on October 18 that there was no foul play involved in the girl’s death.
During the court hearing where the findings were revealed, the family of the girl was not present.
The coroner believed the incident was “yet another stark reminder that children are impulsive and unpredictable”.
Coroner Kamala said, “In the case of a swimming pool, a child may not appreciate how swiftly she may be overcome if she should inadvertently fall into the deep waters.”
She also added that a responsible and alert adult should be around to warn the children to prevent an accident from occurring.
In the court, it was revealed that the girl had taken three swimming lessons, however, her swimming instructor said when he testified previously that Aurelia is neither capable of swimming nor able to balance in the water.
According to the official report stated in the hearing, on October 8, 2020, Aurelia, who was 3.4 ft tall, and her mother Madam Lu Yung, went to the pools at their condominium, The Asana at around 6 pm.
Her mother is watching while Aurelia is playing in the 0.8m-deep jacuzzi while an adult couple is around in the 1.2m-deep swimming pool.
Madam Lu needed to go to the toilet and told her daughter that she would be returning to their flat at around 6.10 pm.
Madam Lu stated that she was pretty comfortable leaving her child alone in the pool as there were adults around. However, she did not ask the couple to look after her daughter while she was gone.
A closed-circuit television video showed that the couple left the pool a minute after the mother went up to her flat.
The video showed Aurelia playing a blue swimming board in the jacuzzi, she then walked around the edge of the pool and sat on the low edge. She then used the board while laying on her stomach and she tried to hover above the water.
At around 6:19 pm, she appears to be walking to the other end of the swimming pool while still holding the blue swimming board.
After a minute, movements were seen in the water at the front of the swimming pool. Seconds later, the blue swimming board appears to be floating in the water and then the water becomes still.
At around 6:31 pm, Madam Lu came back to the pool and went looking for her daughter who was not around. She then asked for help from the security guards. After five minutes, they found Aurelia at the bottom of the pool with her face down.
A resident did cardiopulmonary resuscitation for the girl before the ambulance arrived. She was still unconscious when she was taken to KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital.
Her family was notified that she still had a pulse but she was brain dead. On October 11 last year, her family decided to pull her life support. An autopsy was conducted and her death was confirmed as drowning.
Coroner Kamala said that the girl may have struggled to float in her swimming board or slipped off to the pool.
“She must have panicked and begun gulping water before sinking to the bottom of the swimming pool,” said Coroner Kamala who has expressed her sympathies to her family.
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